Water can dissolve lead and copper from pipes and plumbing fittings when it sits in pipes for extended times. To protect children and staff from higher concentrations of copper and lead, centres are advised to flush their drinking water outlets just before opening after extended periods of closure.

With the drought getting worse, water restrictions are in place in many part of NSW. Please reuse flushed water where practical.

Flushing of internal plumbing within centres can be achieved with three simple steps;

  1. Identify options for collection and reuse of flushed water, e.g. plant watering.
  2. Identify the taps or bubblers furthest from the water meter. Open the taps to allow water from the main to flush the centre’s pipes. Let the taps run for 2 or 3 minutes (longer flushing times may be needed in larger centres) to be sure that the pipes have been flushed. In larger centres several taps may need to be flushed to empty each line of pipe.
  3. Flush each drinking water outlet for about 30 seconds to remove water that has been sitting in the taps and bubbler valves.

Use drinking water from the cold tap after flushing has been carried out to prepare formula and other powdered drinks.

This advice is provided to early childcare centres as a precaution.

More information

You can call 1300 066 055 to talk to your local Public Health Unit.

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Page Updated: Tuesday 17 December 2019
Contact page owner: Environmental Health